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Gingerbread Men Cookies (Soft & Chewy)

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3.92 from 50 votes

This Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookie Recipe is so simple, delicious and adorable! Made in one bowl and take less than an hour to make! These are so much fun for kids and adults to make during Christmas time!

PIN Gingerbread Men Cookies to try later!

Gingerbread menPin

These Gingerbread Men Cookies make me so happy! I made these cookies the same day we got our Christmas tree and I immediately felt like I was ready for the holiday season. These are a classic Christmas cookie that everyone will be in love with.

I love all things gingerbread and spice during the holidays, like building a gingerbread house and baking these chewy Gingerbread Man Cookies. Other gingerbread inspired favorite recipes I love making are  Gingerbread Cookie BarsChewy Ginger Molasses CookiesGingerbread Muffins, and my Baked Gingerbread Oatmeal Bites. 

These are true classic Gingerbread Cookies that you will want to make on repeat every year. Made with the perfect blend of spices, baked with crispy edges, and soft and chewy centers. 

If you want to get the kids involved in the kitchen this season, these make a fun activity and they can help roll out the dough, cut out the gingerbread men, and decorate with frosting. 

Gingerbread ManPin

You can make these Gingerbread Cookies in less than an hour and they make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie platter. They are so easy and require one bowl which makes for an easy clean up. 

Unlike other gingerbread cookie recipes, these are a cinch to make because you only have to chill the dough for 30 minutes (so the butter can firm up) and then roll out the dough.

gingerbread men cookie steps

Decorate these cookies exactly how you want. There isn’t any right or wrong way to decorate them. I love the classic look with a smiley face and buttons. You can add sprinkles, gum drops, mini M&Ms or just leave them plain as they are. They are delicious no matter how you dress them up.

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INGREDIENTS

  • Unsalted butter: I use melted butter which enhances the chewiness of the cookies
  • Brown sugar: used instead of granulated white sugar to make extra moist and chewy cookies
  • Molasses: gives the cookies their signature “gingerbread” flavor. You can’t make these without this ingredient 
  • Salt: enhances the flavors
  • Cinnamon, Ground ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves: the perfect combination of spices 
  • Egg: binds the ingredients together 
  • Vanilla extract: intensifies the other flavors 
  • Baking soda: makes these gingerbread men rise a bit
  • Flour: we use all-purpose flour as it works best with the cookie dough

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE FROSTING

  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk

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HOW TO MAKE GINGERBREAD COOKIES FROM SCRATCH

COOKIE DOUGH

  • In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Stir until well incorporated.
  • Add the egg and stir until combined into the mixture.
  • Add the baking soda and flour and mix with a wooden spoon or use an electric mixer to incorporate all of the ingredients. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Continue to mix until a gingerbread cookie dough has formed. If the dough is sticky, add more flour.
  • Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

HOW TO MAKE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats and set aside.
  • On a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll one half of the cookie dough into 1/4 inch thickness rectangle. Cut out cookies with a gingerbread cookie cutter (or you can use any cookie cutter of choice). Place cookies about an inch apart on baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes or just until the edges are browned. You want them to be slightly underbaked as they will firm up as they cool. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack. Repeat with leftover cookie dough.

FROST & ASSEMBLE

  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the frosting ingredients together until smooth and no lumps remain. The frosting should be slightly thick, if it’s too thick additional milk or water will help.
  • Transfer the frosting into a pastry bag, pipping bag OR place in a ziplock bag and snip a small piece of the corner. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled gingerbread cookies and add decorative candies or sprinkles if desired.
  • Allow the frosting to harden for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Christmas cookies- gingerbread menPin

TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST GINGERBREAD COOKIES

  • To make these cookies super soft and chewy, under bake them by a few minutes. I think baking these cookies for 6-7 minutes is perfect. 
  • If you want to make these cookies extra festive, add color to your frosting, festive sprinkles or gum drops. 
  • For easy clean up, frost the cookies on a layer of wax paper or parchment paper.
  • Be sure not to over-mix the dough. You can mix this cookie dough entirely by a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Once the cookie dough has formed- it’s done.
  • You can make this cookie dough in advance to save you time. You can store the cookie dough in the refrigerator after wrapping each half in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
  • You can use a royal icing, canned frosting, homemade frosting, or omit the icing completely.
  • If you don’t have a gingerbread man cookie cutter thats ok. Use any of your favorite holiday themed cutters.

THESE GINGERBREAD MEN COOKIES ARE

  • Full of richness and flavor, thanks to the molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. 
  • Easy and fun for the kids! Let them cut out the cookies or frost them the way they want. They will love this!
  • Perfectly golden brown on the edges and soft and chewy in the center. 
  • Easy to roll out, decorate and frost. The cookie dough is super pliable.
  • Easy to frost- this is the easiest frosting recipe, ever!
  • Made in less than an hour. 
  • Easily able to make these gingerbread men with other cookie cutters or larger gingerbread men. I used a 3 inch gingerbread men cookie cutter.

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HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER GINGERBREAD COOKIES

These cookies will stay fresh when stored in a dry and cool area in an airtight container or freezer bag at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Storing these in your pantry or counter is perfect! 

Freezing: these cookies freeze great and you have a few options on how you want to freeze these cookies!

  1. Once the unfrosted cookies have cooled, place them in a freezer safe airtight container or freezer. They will stay fresh for up to 3 months. When ready to frost, let the cookies thaw for several hours. 
  2. Freeze the cookie doughboy wrapped each half of the dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in a large ziplock bag. The dough will last up to 2-3 months in the freezer. When ready to bake cookies, let the cookie dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 

decorated gingerbread menPin

Other Favorite Holiday Cookies

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Pin

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookie Recipe

This Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookie Recipe is so simple, delicious and adorable! Made in one bowl and take less than an hour to make!
3.92 from 50 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes
Servings: 60 3 inch gingerbread cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3-3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tbsp. milk; whole or reduced fat
  • Decorative candies or sprinkles; optional

Instructions

To make the cookie dough

  • In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Stir until well incorporated.
  • Add the egg and stir until combined into the mixture.
  • Add the baking soda and flour and mix with a wooden spoon or use an electric mixer to incorporate all of the ingredients. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Continue to mix until a gingerbread cookie dough has formed. If the dough is sticky, add more flour.
  • Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the gingerbread cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats and set aside.
  • On a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll one half of the cookie dough into 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut out cookies with a gingerbread cookie cutter (or you can use any cookie cutter of choice). Place cookies about an inch apart on the cookie sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes or just until the edges are browned. You want them to be slightly underbaked as they will firm up as they cool. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Repeat with leftover cookie dough.

To frost the gingerbread cookies

  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the frosting ingredients together until smooth and no lumps remain. The frosting should be slightly thick, if it's too thick add water.
  • Transfer the frosting into a pipping bag OR place in a ziplock bag and snip a small piece of the corner. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled gingerbread cookies and add decorative candies or sprinkles if desired.
  • Allow the frosting to harden for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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Notes

Make the dough ahead of time: store the cookie dough in the refrigerator after wrapping each half in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. When ready to roll out and bake, let the dough rest for  20-30 minutes to come to room temperature. 
Leftovers: these cookies will stay fresh when stored in a dry and cool area in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 2 weeks. Storing these in your pantry or counter is perfect! 
Freezing: these cookies freeze great and you have a few options on how you want to freeze these cookies!
  1. Once the unfrosted cookies have cooled, place them in a freezer safe airtight container or large ziplock bag. They will stay fresh for up to 3 months. When ready to frost, let the cookies thaw for several hours. 
  2. Freeze the cookie doughboy wrapped each half of the dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in a large ziplock bag. The dough will last up to 2-3 months in the freezer. When ready to bake cookies, let the cookie dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 

Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2020! Co-hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and fun? 21 bloggers from around the country have come together to share some of their favorite sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, cocoa, and more! Follow along on social media with our #ChristmasSweetsWeek hashtag. Happy Holidays!

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Mice by The Spiffy Cookie
Gingerbread Men Cookies by Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
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St Louis Gooey Butter Cake by For the Love of Food

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are too cute! I love how easy and that it is such easy cleanup! A big mess is what typically prohibits me from wanting to cook when I am busy!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow! I have never made gingerbread men cookies myself, and these recipes sound perfect for me to try! Can’t wait to make this lovely cookies!

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely adorable and so delicious! I love that they aren’t rock hard like so many gingerbread cookies. Definitely going in my holiday cookie boxes.

  4. 5 stars
    I love me some gingerbread, but it’s always too crunch – I’m so looking forward to this recipe with a softer and chewier texture!

  5. I’m fairly new at baking and kind of intimidated. I just wanted to clarify before attempting. Should I use light or dark brown sugar? Stupid question I know. TIA!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Josephine! I am so glad you found this recipe as it truly is simple and easy to make. I hope these cookies don’t intimidate you at all. I would use dark brown sugar for more flavor but light brown sugar would also work. Great question and happy baking!